An Eye for Art: Paul Chang – ‘Love Mood′

April 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm (An Eye for Art) (, , , , , , , , )

In collaboration with art critic Rob PerréeReadytex Art Gallery has developed an informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This week he talks about ‘Love Mood’, giclée on paper, 56 cm wide x 63 cm high, 2009, from Paul Chang.

Paul Chang, ‘Love Mood’, giclée on paper, 56x63cm, 2009 – USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang Paul Chang, ‘Love Mood’, giclée on paper, 56x63cm, 2009 – USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Paul Chang, ‘Love Mood’, giclée on paper, 56x63cm, 2009 – USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

When seeing a painting with flowers I am inclined to think about the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. A painting of hers, with flowers, was sold late last year for € 40.000.000. A record amount for work from a female artist. She not only made of her flowers odes to nature – nature in Santa Fe, New Mexico – but also erotic, sensual shapes, which have an irresistible appeal.

Paul Chang certainly does not presume to compete with O’Keeffe. She is one of a kind. Yet the distance between her and Chang is less significant than it seems. He lives and works in a neighborhood – Miami – where the sun and nature are also inextricably linked. That combination results in colors that they are envious of in my chilly, catty homeland. Chang fully exploits them in this work. The colors are crucial to the atmosphere that the work evokes. The title indicates that love was the driving force behind that atmosphere. The love of the one and the eroticism of the other, they are in any case related.

O’Keeffe painted mostly from reality, but by manipulating that reality somewhat, making it slightly rounder, coloring it in some, also literally, she brought a different dimension to it. Chang might use reality as his point of departure, but for him it is sufficient to give only an impression thereof. Moreover, he seems to compose shapes and colors. Reality is made subordinate to the composition. He does not choose the photo-realism of his American colleague. In his work the brush strokes are clearly visible, sometimes mixed, and they ensure a certain liveliness.

The new works of Paul Chang are abstracter than those in the series which ‘Love Mood’ (2009) is part of. That creates curiosity about the further development of his oeuvre. The use of color is a constant though.

TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, April 2015

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2015

Want to see this and other work of Paul Chang ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.comFor more information about Paul Chang please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/paulchang.

Print

More work by Paul Chang available in Readytex Art Gallery:

Paul Chang, ‘Sawgrass I’, giclée on canvas, 38x40cm, 2013 – USD 250 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Paul Chang, 'Blue Serenade', 2012

Paul Chang, ‘Savannah trees’, giclée on paper, 38x38cm, 2008 – USD 275 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Paul Chang, 'Blue Serenade', 2012

Paul Chang, ‘Savannah’, acryl on canvas, 76x90cm, 2011 – USD 900 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Paul Chang, 'Fish', acrylic on canvas, 76x90cm, 2013 - USD 900 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Paul Chang, ‘Fish’, acrylic on canvas, 76x90cm, 2012 – USD 900 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

LOGO eye for art

This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on April 22, 2015 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on April 22, 2015.

Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process.  You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.

Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery  and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.

Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.

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Solo exhibition Isan Corinde: ‘Avo Sondi’

April 13, 2015 at 11:37 am (Exposed) (, , , , , , , , )

A visitor at 'Avo Sondi' / PHOTO Ada Korbee, 2015

A visitor at ‘Avo Sondi’ / PHOTO Ada Korbee, 2015

Recently, from April 10 thru April 12, 2015, Isan Corinde had a solo exhibition, ‘Avo Sondi’, in Sukru Oso, Cornelis Jongbawstraat 16, Paramaribo, Suriname. His first solo exhibition showed new roads this young artist is exploring, from two-dimensional he is moving to three-dimensional. Many colleague artists expressed their admiration: Rahied Abdoel, Arti Abhelakh, Marcel Pinas, Els Tjong Joe Wai and many others.

Invitation Avo Sondi

Invitation Avo Sondi

Isan Corinde, portrait by Edwien Bodjie / PHOTO Edwien Bodjie

Isan Corinde, portrait by Edwien Bodjie / PHOTO Edwien Bodjie

Isan Corinde in ront of one of the owrks from 'Avo Sondi' / PHOTO Guillaume Pool, 2015

Isan Corinde in ront of one of the owrks from ‘Avo Sondi’ / PHOTO Guillaume Pool, 2015

In 2012 Isan graduated from the Nola Hatterman Art Academy. With his own resources he started a project in Brownsweg, Brokopondo, giving art lessons for school children. This project was ‘Isan ku de mii’ [Isan and the children].

In April 2014 he unveiled an installation in Brokopondo which he had made with the school children: ‘Dii fosu posu futu’.

Isan also participated in the group exhibition Art Boost, with Shaundell Horton, Dakaya Lenz and Jeanet Oord, in Grand Riverside Hotel, Paramaribo, Suriname, May 2013.

Website: http://isancorinde.com

On Sranan Art’s Flickr page there’s a photo report with photos by Edwien Bodjie and Ada Korbee.

Isan Corinde and Convey (Dervin Sno) started a video project in 2014: ‘PROJECT: ISAN 014’.

Sculptural work / PHOTO Edwien Bodjie, 2015

Sculptural work / PHOTO Edwien Bodjie, 2015

Article in de Ware Tijd about 'Avo Sondi'

Article in de Ware Tijd about ‘Avo Sondi’

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An Eye for Art: Wilgo Vijfhoven – ‘Bamboe′

April 8, 2015 at 11:19 am (An Eye for Art) (, , , , )

In collaboration with art critic Rob PerréeReadytex Art Gallery has developed an informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This week he talks about ‘Bamboe’ [Bamboo], acrylics on canvas, 75 cm wide x 139 cm high, 2012, by Wilgo Vijfhoven.

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe’ [Bamboo], acryl on canvas, 75 cm wide x 139 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition 'Rood' [Red] – USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe’ [Bamboo], acryl on canvas, 75 cm wide x 139 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition ‘Rood’ [Red] – USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

In recent years women have been the most important theme of Wilgo Vijfhoven (Paramaribo, 1964). This comes from a genuine admiration. He is impressed with their strength and with the way in which they deal with personal problems such as loneliness and being abandoned. His paintings also indicate clearly however, that the physical beauty of women does not at all elude him.

From this fairly large work that bears the sober title ‘Bamboe’ [Bamboo] (2012), it is clear that for  Vijfhoven beauty goes beyond that of women only. He is impressed by the beauty of nature in general. In this specific example, of the bamboo plant.

The painting appears to be a simple portrayal of the reality, but that is not what it is. The artist has searched for ways to emphasize the beauty. In the first place he chooses to paint the image of a detail. In doing so he forces the viewer to take a better look. Aside from that he also wants to convey a certain atmosphere, an almost poetic atmosphere. That is why he puts a yellow haze over the work. And finally he chooses to add, to the painting that is executed in only a few colors, some minimal accents in red to thus draw attention to it. A young robin on a branch and several bamboo leaves that have turned red. The little bird even gets an extra treatment. The white spot places it in the limelight. Here Vijfhoven manipulates reality, seduces the viewer, in order to reach his goal.

This painting has a sibling, ‘Bamboe II’ [Bamboo II], which is done on an even more elongated canvas. That confirms that Vijfhoven has used the shape of his work to strengthen his subject.

The painting of nature is a classic genre in art history. Landscapes were often used to give religious themes a framework or to depict romantic life concepts. The attention for nature was often an excuse for something else. It looks as though Vijfhoven goes for nature without ulterior motives.

 

TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, March 2015

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2015

Want to see this and other work of Wilgo Vijfhoven ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.comFor more information about Wilgo Vijfhoven please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/wilgovijfhoven.

Print

More work by Wilgo Vijfhoven available in Readytex Art Gallery:

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe II’, acryl on canvas, 20 cm wide x 90 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition 'Rood' [Red] – USD 250 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Bamboe II’, acryl on canvas, 20 cm wide x 90 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition ‘Rood’ [Red] – USD 250 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Pauw’ [Peacock], acryl on canvas, 48.2 cm wide x 139.5 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition 'Rood' [Red] – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Pauw’ [Peacock], acryl on canvas, 48.2 cm wide x 139.5 cm high, 2012, from the exhibition ‘Rood’ [Red] – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘The First ...’, acryl on canvas, 65 cm wide x 111 cm high, 2014 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘The First …’, acryl on canvas, 65 cm wide x 111 cm high, 2014 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Swinging Beauty’, acrylic on canvas, 80 cm wide x 100 cm high, 2012 - USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Swinging Beauty’, acrylic on canvas, 80 cm wide x 100 cm high, 2012 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, 'Model’, acrylic on canvas, 73 cm wide x 109 cm high, 2009 - USD 750 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Model’, acrylic on canvas, 73 cm wide x 109 cm high, 2009 – USD 750 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Kotomisi’, acrylic on canvas, 60 cm wide x 130 cm high, 2010 - USD 675 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Kotomisi’, acrylic on canvas, 60 cm wide x 130 cm high, 2010 – USD 675 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Sfeer III’, mixed media on canvas, 71 cm wide x 101 cm high, 2009 - USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Wilgo Vijfhoven, ‘Sfeer III’, mixed media on canvas, 71 cm wide x 101 cm high, 2009 – USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on April 8, 2015 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on April 8, 2015.

Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process.  You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.

Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery  and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.

Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.

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Surinamese participation in Plein Air Curacao 2015 (clippings & videos)

April 7, 2015 at 3:16 pm (A Close Look) (, , , , , , , )

Every other year, the tropical island of Curaçao hosts a successful Plein Air Festival. During this festival, local and international plein air artists paint outdoors at various locations on Curaçao. With oils, watercolors, pastels and other media these artists bring to life the beauty of Curaçao, its people and its culture to be permanently exposed abroad through paintings in homes, galleries and musea.

The third edition of the Plein Air Curaçao festival, February 26-March 7, 2015, successfully hosted both Plein Air and Plein Eau painting. Artists came from all corners of the world for the 10-day Caribbean art extravaganza. Artist George Struikelblok (Suriname) lent his expertise and enthusiasm to the Curaçao version of “Big Power of Small Blocks” whereby kids from orphanages and other youth group homes created their art by painting on small wooden blocks. Together with blocks painted by local artists, these “Curaçao Cubes” were exhibited and sold. Proceeds went towards the art programs at these institutions. The festival ended with an exciting 3-hour quick-draw competition and bustling street fair in the historic downtown area of Willemstad.

AD, March 2, 2015

AD, March 2, 2015  

Amigoe, February 27, 2015 1

Amigoe, February 27, 2015 1

Amigoe, February 27, 2015 2

Amigoe, February 27, 2015 2

Clipping, February 28, 2015

Clipping, February 28, 2015

Express, MArch 5, 2015

Express, MArch 5, 2015

Explore Curacao, March 2015

Explore Curacao, March 2015

AD, March 3, 2015

AD, March 3, 2015

 

There was a large delegation from Suriname who participated. Peter Thielen made videos, a series of 11. We show the first one here, the rest can be seen in our Vimeo-collection or on the FVAS Facebook page.

From March 9 through March 18, 2017 Art Foundation Curaçao will host the 4th Plein Air Festival on the tropical island of Curaçao. Local and international artists will paint on land as well as underwater. A variety of media will be used with emphasis on oils, watercolors and pastels. Workshops are given for adults, teens and kids. Paintings made on the last day of the festival are entered in a contest. Paintings made during the festival will be put up for sale.

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An art blog post about art blogging featuring Sranan Art Xposed!

April 1, 2015 at 12:31 pm (Headlines) (, , , , , , , , )

In a new series on An Paenhuysen‘s blog art bloggers from all around the world are featured. Art Blogger of this Week: Marieke Visser in Paramaribo, Suriname talks about Sranan Art Xposed.

It made me realize how important it is to stand still at times and reflect on what you’re doing, where you’re going and where you come from. And also: how good it feels to experience a certain validation of what you’re doing. And of course, that I switch from “I” to “we” ever so often because “I” feel so supported by many people who make “me” part of “we”.

A screenshot from the art blog by An Paenhuysen

A screenshot from the art blog by An Paenhuysen

A question to which my own answer surprised me. “Do you read other art blogs?” When thinking about that answer I realized that I am much more influenced by (and intersted in) other voices about life in general, or topics like identity, than blogs about art. I wonder why? Perhaps because daily life and art seem so much more intertwined in Suriname? At least that’s true for MY life.

 

A few of my inspirations:

– Africanah, Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Airform Archives

ARC Magazine, Facebook

– Black Girl Gone

– The Belle Jar

– Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inc Website Facebook

Dona Dulcinea

Draconian Switch Magazine, Facebook

Kunstkieken

National Gallery of Jamaica, Facebook

No Black Pete

– Processed Lives

Remco de Blaaij

 Rob Perrée in the Netherlands/USA

Warana Solutions

From the Airform Archives website

From the Airform Archives website

Suriname links:

– Federation of Visual Artists in Suriname (FVAS) Website Facebook

– Readytex Art Gallery Website Facebook

– Sranan Art Xposed WordPress Facebook Flickr Twitter Instagram Vimeo

– Switi RAUW Facebook 

 A Tasty Bit – A culinary blog in Suriname

From the SAX Sranan Art Xposed Facebook page, quote by Remy Jungerman

From the SAX Sranan Art Xposed Facebook page, quote by Remy Jungerman

People I follow on Facebook and/or Twitter:

Danny Simmons, Amma Asante, Anne Patterson, Harriet Duurvoort, Kno’Ledge Cesare, Zihni Özdil, Rose-Marie Maitre, Teju Cole, Uncooked CultureRonny Edry Pushpin, Proud RebelsArturo Desimone, Sunny Bergman

From the Facebook page of Ronny Edry Pushpin

From the Facebook page of Ronny Edry Pushpin

Other stuff I follow I will add here, and if readers want to add: please feel free to drop me (Marieke Visser) a line at srananart@gmail.com.

– Alice Yard Website Facebook

– De Correspondent Website Facebook

– The Empire Project Website Facebook Jongsma & O’Neill

– Global Voices Website Facebook

– Holly Bynoe Website Facebook

– Humans of New York Website Facebook Instagram

– John 106 it takes a village Website Facebook

– Nadia Huggins Website Facebook

– Remy Jungerman Website Facebook

– Small Axe Website Facebook

– The State of L3 Contemporary Arts & Film Collective Website Facebook

– Uniarte Facebook

From the Facebook page of Small Axe

From the Facebook page of Small Axe

And, of course, I follow An Paenhuysen.

I read An’s name first in an invitation from Node Center for Curatorial Studies, for an online course for Art Criticism and Writing. And then when I started following her blog (via Google+), I just loved her vlog What is art. Short, simple videos about what makes art art.

 

 

 

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Art in Development from Christopher Cozier

March 27, 2015 at 11:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Currently his exhibition Gas Men can be seen from March 19 – April 30, 2015, in Galerie Françoise Heitsch, in Munich, Germany. On March 27 he participated in an artist conversation with Osei Bonsu during a Supporters of Iniva (SI) – Open Forum Event, in London, Great Britain. And in August-September 2015 he will be an artist in residence in Miami, USA, as part of the Cannonball’s Residency Program. Christopher Cozier is everywhere, not limiting himself to one point in place and time. That’s why we re-share this article by Rob Perrée, written for SAX 9.

In February 2014 Christopher Cozier (Port of Spain, 1959) had his first gallery exhibition in the Y Art & Framing Gallery  in Port of Spain, the city where he was born and where he lives. I can imagine that with a career of thirty years behind you, you don’t immediately start cheering for such a happening. It is after all, about time. But that was not the reason why he had mixed feelings about it, why had the need to talk about it apologetically. It became even more difficult when the exhibition turned out to be not just a public success, but also a financial success. It made him uncomfortable. Money is necessary and is usually of great help, but for his work process and for the presentation of his work, money is never a deciding factor. That premise seemed disturbed, outside of himself. “Maybe this exhibition marks a change in attitude towards contemporary art here. Then at least it might have been good for that purpose.”, was his ultimate and (temporary) final justification.

The unease however, was not wiped out by it.

Christopher Cozier in front of his work / PHOTO Nadia Huggins

Christopher Cozier in front of his work / PHOTO Nadia Huggins

Christopher Cozier, ‘You Know If Them Tings Does Bite?’, ink on paper, 29x50inch / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, ‘You Know If Them Tings Does Bite?’, ink on paper, 29x50inch / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Cozier showed drawings (“drawing is my handwriting”), screen prints, editions and works in which various techniques are combined. They were works full of references, texts and images ran into one another, sometimes the texts were the image and the images were reminiscent of scenes from a comic strip. Sometimes they seemed like notes on a white sheet of paper or sketches waiting to be further worked out. In the cases where there was any color involved, it was sporadic or pale. A number of works could have easily stood alone, others stood with each other because they were positioned according to time or because together they wanted to tell a story. By paying attention to the details you can discover a lot of humor in such a story.

Cozier would have preferred to see the exhibition as a kind of display of work material, of derivative works, of remnants or of works in the making. As such he failed to take into account an important aspect of his talent: not only does he work from a solid content with various references, but he also has a good feel for strong images. He once started as a graphic designer, and he has never completely lost that graphic signature. That signature naturally knows, that it has to be striking. And when in addition to this, the works are hung neatly framed and set up in a white box, that element is strengthened even further.

I can imagine that he might have ambivalent feelings about that.

Christopher Cozier / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, ‘Hiding To Eat’, ink on paper, studies for ‘The Arrest’, 13x18inch / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, ‘Hands Up (To The Left)', ink on paper, studies for ‘The Arrest’, 13x18inch / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, ‘Hands Up (To The Left)’, ink on paper, studies for ‘The Arrest’, 13x18inch / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier is next to a man of image, a man of words, of texts, of content, of original ideas which are, at least in his head, always linked with other ideas. For him, a story or a thought is never isolated or something that happens only once. There are other stories from present time, but also from the past, that go along with it. Serious but also funny. Profound, but also commonplace and from the streets. He is an encyclopedic artist.

He collects data and events, he makes notes about moods, about the things that he sees, about the thoughts that present themselves to him at a certain moment. “It’s the sometimes mundane, sometimes crazy everyday of an individual living in Port of Spain.”

Christopher Cozier, 'Development pattern' / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, ‘Development Pattern’, mixed media on paper, 36x52inch / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, 'Development pattern' / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, ‘Development pattern’ / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

In his long-running project ‘Tropical Night’ – he has been working on it since 2006 – he gives them shape. A-4’s, small ‘paintings’ (or should I call them drawings?), often brownish or reddish, each telling their own story. He hangs them unframed, next to or below one another. Depending on the space available to him, such a collective work can consist of between a hundred and three hundred parts. The composition can also alternate.
As a result, one component can be a scene in multiple stories. In fact ‘Tropical Night’ is a blueprint of the brain, the impression device and the emotions of the artist. Because they resist being recorded, refuse to hide behind one meaning or one explanation, ‘Tropical Night’ can be nothing other than an ongoing project. With it he presents a form of contemporary, visual history writing.
That urge to portray a contemporary history stems from his annoyance with the way in which history, namely colonial history, is usually dealt with. It contains many gaps. On many occasions things are omitted and painful historical facts especially, are glossed over or ‘white-washed’. Reality is violated. For political reasons. For opportunist personal reasons. That will not happen to him. He always takes notes of many things, so that he has access to a rich supply in order to give shape to his thoughts, to substantiate his ideas, to feed his creativity and provide his work with a solid legitimacy.

Christopher Cozier / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier, title unknown / PHOTO Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Christopher Cozier has a special relationship with Suriname. In 2010 he assisted the organization of Paramaribo SPAN  – an exchange project between Rotterdam and Suriname –primarily by inspiring and guiding the Surinamese artists in such a way that they dared to stray from their usual paths. Surprising and sometimes unprecedented installations were the result. A year later he was part of the organizing team that worked on the major retrospective exhibition of the work of Marcel Pinas. Since then he has written several essays about Surinamese art(ists) and talks are underway about a new exhibition project in 2015.
Christopher Cozier is not only an exceptional artist, but he is also an original and strong willed critic and curator.

 

TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, March 2014

PHOTOS Courtesy Christopher Cozier

Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.

 

More information about Christopher Cozier and his art projects:

Uncomfortable: The Art of Christopher Cozier, a video about Christopher Cozier by Richard Fung, 2005

Draconian Switch no. 11, about Paramaribo SPAN, 2010

Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions, 2011

David Krut Projects, 2013

In Development, 2013 (essay by Nicholas Laughlin)

Gas Men, 2014

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Patricia Ma Ajong – Not to be confined to one category

March 26, 2015 at 7:04 pm (Outspoken) (, , , , , , , )

Patricia Ma Ajong in her booth at the International Rotterdam Art Fair 2014, with one of the paintings that is now in the CBK Zuidoost Collection / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong in her booth at the International Rotterdam Art Fair 2014, with one of the paintings that is now in the CBK Zuidoost Collection / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

The artist Patricia Ma Ajong cannot be confined to one category. Born in Suriname, ancestors from all corners of the world, lived in Paris for a long time, now living in the Netherlands, and currently back in Suriname for a few months. She is determined to do a lot of painting in the coming period.

‘Once I get into the flow of it, one idea after the other comes into my head.’ When Patricia begins working again, she does that by starting with a painting that she is not pleased with. ‘Then I talk to the canvas and say: “We are going to do something with you!”. I am rigorous, I occasionally torpedo the work. This almost always results in something good, but often the other one, the existing work, was also good.’ The artist laughs about it herself.  ‘With art works it is just as it is in life. Nothing stays the same, there is constant change. On the canvas, you immortalize the lost moments; you briefly hold on to them. That gives me some peace of mind.’

Patricia Ma Ajong, 'Watramama'' / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, ‘Watramama” / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

A selection from the exhibitions of Patricia Ma Ajong that have been on display in Suriname.  In 2009 she had her first solo-exhibition in Suriname, in Galerie Steinhoff: Flying Eye. In 2011 she exhibited in Royal House of Art met Overeind staan (standing upright). This exhibition was subsequently on display at ‘Het Surinaamsch Rumhuis’ (also on Facebook). Soso Oso was on display in Gallery Sukru Oso, in 2012. In 2013 she also participated in the National Art Fair. Early 2014 she participated in the Fashion House 3d edition fashion show, in an original way: the models walked the catwalk not only in clothes, but also with Ma Ajong’s work.

Patricia Ma Ajong with Ton Smit from Stichting Stadsherstel with one of her works from the 'Oso'-series / PHOTO Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong with Ton Smit from Stichting Stadsherstel with one of her works from the ‘Oso’-series / PHOTO Patricia Ma Ajong

The theme that she was so successful with in Suriname, is that of the wooden houses that are so typical of the old inner city of Paramaribo. Initially she had hoped to be able to directly contribute to the restoration of the dilapidated houses through the sale of her works, but talks with the foundation ‘Paramaribo Stadsherstel’ assured her that this would be like a drop in the ocean. That is why she has now chosen to, where and when she can, by painting these beautiful, but often run-down homes, bring across a message of awareness to the Surinamese people about preserving this part of our heritage.

Patricia Ma Ajong, 'Liefde is het huis waarin we wonen' [Love is the house we live in]' / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, ‘Liefde is het huis waarin we wonen’ [Love is the house we live in]’ / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

It means a great deal to Patricia that ‘Centrum Beeldende Kunst Zuidoost‘ (also on Facebook), in Amsterdam Zuidoost, the Netherlands) recently purchased three of her works, amongst which also a painting of a typical wooden house. ‘What could be better than having work of myself included and on display in the collection of this Surinamese stronghold in the Netherlands?’ It seems to be recognition of at least one part of her artistry, because the fact that she has Surinamese roots, in any case partially determines her identity.  But, as mentioned earlier, she cannot be placed into just one category. ‘I have also heard people say that they think that my work exudes a French atmosphere.’ Passion and love, women and birds: all universal themes that are also seen in the work of this artist. ‘What I paint is about life itself, what you experience, what I discover when I delve into the past… I love those things that I cannot put my hands on. That is what I try to express in my paintings.’

Patricia Ma Ajong, 'Kadanz' / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, ‘Kadanz’ / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, 'Market' / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, ‘Market’ / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, 'Justice' / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, ‘Justice’ / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, 'Crowd' / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

Patricia Ma Ajong, ‘Crowd’ / PHOTO Courtesy Patricia Ma Ajong

About the artist:

Visual art has always played an important role in the life of Patricia Ma Ajong (Paramaribo, 1960). It is only in recent years however, that she has been able to make her passion for art the center of her being. In the late eighties she studied graphic design in Paris, France. She lived in France for ten years, and after a period in Suriname and Indonesia, she currently lives in the Netherlands. In Jakarta, Indonesia she took courses in oil painting techniques. Several years ago she concluded a study at the ‘Vrije Academie’ in the Hague, the Netherlands. At this moment she is once again spending some time in her country of birth.

She sees her work as the logical outcome of the sum of all parts: her multi-cultural background and the many countries where she has lived and which she has visited. Her motto: ‘Art is the representation of the soul and the source.’

Website: www.maajongpatricia.com

TEXT Marieke Visser, Boxel, November 2014

Marieke Visser (Bennekom, the Netherlands, 1962) studied journalism and language and literature in the Netherlands. As publicist she writes a lot about art, culture, history and tourism from her own news agency Swamp Fish Press. Three large art projects to which she has recently contributed are: Wakaman Drawing lines, connecting dotsParamaribo SPAN and  Kibii Wi Koni Marcel Pinas The Event. She is currently editor in chief of Sranan Art Xposed.

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2015

More about Patricia Ma Ajong on the Sranan Art blog can be found here.

The Dutch text was previously published in EFM Magazine (also on Facebook) vol. 4, no. 11, March 2015.

Cover

Cover

EFM Magazine vol. 4, no. 11, March 2015, Uitgesproken [Outspoken]

EFM Magazine vol. 4, no. 11, March 2015, Uitgesproken [Outspoken]

EFM Magazine vol. 4, no. 11, March 2015, Uitgesproken [Outspoken]

EFM Magazine vol. 4, no. 11, March 2015, Uitgesproken [Outspoken]

 

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An Eye for Art: Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Born on the wrong date 1′

March 25, 2015 at 8:20 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

In collaboration with art critic Rob PerréeReadytex Art Gallery has developed an informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This week he talks about ‘Born on the wrong date 1’, acrylics on canvas, 30 cm wide x 60 cm high, 2012, from Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi.

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Born on the wrong date 1’, from the series ‘Short Stories’, acryl on canvas, 80 cm wide x 60 cm high, 2012 - USD / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Born on the wrong date 1’, from the series ‘Short Stories’, acryl on canvas, 80 cm wide x 60 cm high, 2012 – USD 650 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

In 2012 Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi made a series of paintings which she named ‘Short Stories’. With short stories I would initially think of literature, not of visual art. Yet it turns out not to be such a strange title after all. Especially not for her. Language is a method of expression for artists as well. Her poems for example, are proof thereof.

The paintings in the series form a narrative. They are like short scenes from a story. This work is a good example thereof. In a realistic style Kit-Ling depicts a girl who walks through a street in Paramaribo. She walks alone. The sky looks somewhat turbulent. It’s quite windy. The yellow curtain is waving in the wind. It is not at all hard to think up a story. Where is she walking to? Is she as lonely as she seems? Is there a threat lurking?

What is striking is the red line that outlines her. Does that line continue? Is that a way to indicate that it is only a scene from a story? Does the story go on, just like how the red line creates the impression of an image that moves along, on its way towards the next scene?

Even more striking are the foreground and the blue sky. There are words written in them. Or at least the curly letters seem to form words. What is written exactly, is not clear. In the blue sky a bit of puzzle work might turn up something. The words on the street do not go beyond a suggestion of words. I don’t think it is important whether I can or cannot read those words. They symbolize the narrative character of the work. And above all, they symbolize the open content: Tjon Pian Gi appears to give the viewers the liberty to use their imagination and give it their own interpretation.

In a lot of her work Tjon Pian Gi showcases the diversity of the Surinamese culture. In this work she transcends the local and takes on a more universal theme. Could that girl not have been walking in any random city, in any other country?

 

TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, March 2015

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2015

Want to see this and other work of Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo. www.readytexartgallery.comFor more information about Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/kitlingtjonpiangi.

Print

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi also published two books, still available at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo.

De kracht van vrouwen/The Strength of Women

KL F

More work by Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi available in Readytex Art Gallery:

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Woman Artist 3’, conte on paper, 70 cm wide x 100 cm high, year unknown - USD 550 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Woman Artist 3’, conte on paper, 70 cm wide x 100 cm high, year unknown – USD 550 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Krabu Owrukuku - A pa nanga a boi’ [Owls - The father and the son], acryl on wood, 30 cm wide x 30 cm high, 2014 - USD 275 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Krabu Owrukuku – A pa nanga a boi’ [Owls – The father and the son], acryl on wood, 30 cm wide x 30 cm high, 2014 – USD 275 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Vermont Impressions II’, acryl on glass, 64 cm wide x 66 cm high, 2012 - USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Vermont Impressions II’, acryl on glass, 64 cm wide x 66 cm high, 2012 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Mercredi des Cendres 9 Witch 2’, acryl on wood, 30 cm wide x 30 cm high, year unknown - USD 275 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi, ‘Mercredi des Cendres 9 Witch 2’, acryl on wood, 30 cm wide x 30 cm high, year unknown – USD 275 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

For the project The Strength of Women Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi made a video production. This is a fragment:

Several other short videos by Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi:

LOGO eye for art

This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on March 25, 2015 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on March 25, 2015.

Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process.  You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.

Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery  and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.

Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.

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An Eye for Art: Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Zebra’

March 11, 2015 at 6:18 pm (An Eye for Art) (, , , , , , , )

In collaboration with art critic Rob PerréeReadytex Art Gallery has developed an informative initiative: An Eye for Art. Once every two weeks Rob Perrée discusses a work of art from the collection of Readytex Art Gallery. This week he talks about ‘Zebra’, painted driftwood, 216 cm long x 112 cm high x 86 cm wide, 2009, by Roddney Tjon Poen Gie.

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Zebra’, painted driftwood, 216 cm long x 112 cm high x 86 cm wide, 2009 - USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Zebra’, painted driftwood, 216 cm long x 112 cm high x 86 cm wide, 2009 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Zebra’, painted driftwood, 216 cm long x 112 cm high x 86 cm wide, 2009 - USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Zebra’, painted driftwood, 216 cm long x 112 cm high x 86 cm wide, 2009 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

I saw this sculpture for the first time in a photograph made in Readytex Art Gallery’s space. Lying on the ‘back’ of the sculpture was a woman, apparently dying with laughter. An unusual sight, because as a visitor you’re supposed to view a work of art from a respectful distance. Whoever determined that it should be so, nobody really knows anymore. That is the museum code. That code is held sacred above and beyond any discussion. Or so it seems.

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie (Paramaribo, 1962) is a serious artist, but he doesn’t seem to give much consideration to the code. That can be concluded from the way in which he works. Over ten years ago he made a sculpture on the water’s edge – a Chinese dragon. That sculpture consisted of pieces of scrap wood or drift wood that he found in the surrounding area and attached to existing beach poles. When he was asked some time later what remained of that artwork, he answered laconically, that certain pieces might still exist, but that due to the moisture and the heat such work was inevitably fleeting. The water was the source of inspiration, the water was then also allowed to reclaim it.

That same level-headed mentality explains why his animal sculptures always originate from existing pieces of wood. The shape of that wood determines the identity of the animal. The shape of the wood stimulates his creativity. Although he has a preference for Chinese dragons – he is partly Chinese – , most of his animals look more animal-like or more like fantasy animals, than like anything corresponding to reality. Sometimes it is the way in which he paints them that determines the association that the viewer has with it. I am under the impression that he consciously plays on, or guides, this association with his titles. This sculpture is titled ‘Zebra’, just as logical as it is illogical. Because of the black and white it is, at quick a glance, reminiscent of a zebra, but the shape is completely different from that of a zebra.

In many of his works the bright colors are what entice the viewer to delve further into  them. That is not the case in this work. This work apparently invites the viewer to touch and, as can be seen in the photograph: to use as a type of climbing device.

Alida at RAG 120919 (17)

Alida Neslo horsing around with ‘Zebra’ / PHOTO Ada Korbee

 

TEXT Rob Perrée, Amsterdam, January 2015

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld

Want to see this and other work of Roddney Tjon Poen Gie ‘up close and personal’? That’s possible at Readytex Art Gallery, Steenbakkerijstraat 30, Paramaribo, Suriname, www.readytexartgallery.com. For more information about Roddney Tjon Poen Gie please visit the website http://readytexartgallery.com/roddneytjonpoengie.

Print

A previous edition of ‘An Eye for Art’ about Roddney Tjon Poen Giewas published on this blog here.

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie also did an artist residency in Moengo, in 2014. He made an installation there, ‘Bagua’, inspired by Feng shui philosophy.

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie on his 'Bagua'-installation in Moengo / PHOTO Courtesy Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 2014

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie on his ‘Bagua’-installation in Moengo / PHOTO Courtesy Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 2014

More work by Roddney Tjon Poen Gie available in Readytex Art Gallery:

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 'Submerged', acrylic on wood, 80wx85hx55d, 2014 - USD 350 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Submerged’, acrylic on wood, 80wx85hx55d, 2014 – USD 350 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Pedestal 5’, acryl on cardboard tube, 18x61x18cm, 2011 - USD 2011 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Pedestal 5’, acryl on cardboard tube, 18x61x18cm, 2011 – USD 2011 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 'Lifebuoy', acrylic on driftwood, 110wx79h, 2010 - USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Lifebuoy’, acrylic on driftwood, 110wx79h, 2010 – USD 600 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 'Guards', acrylic on wood, 90wx170hx60d, 2009 - USD 1200 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Guards’, acrylic on wood, 90wx170hx60d, 2009 – USD 1200 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 'Drager' [Carrier], acrylic on wood, 101wx102hx9d, 2009 - USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Drager’ [Carrier], acrylic on wood, 101wx102hx9d, 2009 – USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 'Seduction', acrylic on canvas, 132wx92h, 2009 - USD 785 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Seduction’, acrylic on canvas, 132wx92h, 2009 – USD 785 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, 'Missing link', acrylic on canvas, 190wx150h, 2009 - USD 1200 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Missing link’, , acrylic on canvas, 190wx150h, 2009 – USD 1200 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Gaurdians’, acryl on canvas, 95x110cm, 2009 - USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Gaurdians’, acryl on canvas, 95x110cm, 2009 – USD 700 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Afaka mask II’, mahogany, 13x23x4cm, 2009 - USD 225 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Afaka mask II’, mahogany, 13x23x4cm, 2009 – USD 225 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Indigenous Conception I’, mixed media on paper, 23x54cm, 2005 - USD 150 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Indigenous Conception I’, mixed media on paper, 23x54cm, 2005 – USD 150 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Indigenous Conception II’, mixed media on paper, 30x44cm, 2005 - USD 150 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

Roddney Tjon Poen Gie, ‘Indigenous Conception II’, mixed media on paper, 30x44cm, 2005 – USD 150 / PHOTO Readytex Art Gallery/William Tsang

LOGO eye for art

This edition of An Eye for Art has been sent as a RAG-mailing on March 11, 2015 and was published in Kunst en Cultuur in de Ware Tijd on March 11, 2015.

Because really looking at art and understanding art are not always obvious and easy to do, we hope that these regular reviews will at least offer you some insight into the process.  You will get to see how a connoisseur looks at art, discusses it, and then links the work to others within the international art world.

Of course you can only truly judge a work of art when you are actually standing in front of it yourself. We therefore hope to see you soon in Readytex Art Gallery  and are eager to hear what you think of this artwork, and which other works of art you find yourself drawn to. Please note that the artworks discussed are still available for purchase at the time that the review is published.

Rob Perrée is art historian and works as freelance writer, art critic and curator, specialized in contemporary (Afro-) American art, African art, Surinamese art and art using new media. His work has appeared in countless catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers. He is editor of Sranan Art Xposed, editor in chief of Africanah.org and a member of the editing team of Pf Photo Magazine. His website: http://robperree.com.

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Back to Basics: the ‘Oneliners’ of Els Tjong Joe Wai

March 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm (A Close Look) (, , , , )

Invitation

Invitation

What: Oneliners, an exhibition by Els Tjong Joe Wai

When: March 6, 7 & 8, 2015, 19:00-22:00 hrs. Opening March 6, 19:00 with performance by Tolin Alexander

Where: Sukru Oso, Cornelis Jongbawstraat 16a, Paramaribo, Suriname

 Els Tjong Joe Wai in front of a work that was on display in a previous exhibition,  Zonder titel  [Untitled] / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014


Els Tjong Joe Wai in front of a work that was on display in a previous exhibition, Zonder titel [Untitled] / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Back to basics. For artist Els Tjong Joe Wai this is her way of maneuvering through life’s rapids. She has done turnarounds a few times before. For example: suddenly breaking up in Greece where she had been living contently for many years, running a gallery, doing great artistically speaking, to return to Suriname because this is where love was calling. “Whenever I change direction, it is very important to me to go all the way back to basics. Back to pencil or ink, and paper. And then it becomes clear that what you had thought of as a transitionary phase, actually produces very nice work.”

After an intense change of direction – the sudden passing of her loved one – she once again reverted back to the basics. After the initial mourning, the feeling of wanting to do ‘something’ again, hesitantly crept upwards. But what? And where to begin? “I also make objects, so I didn’t necessarily have to start painting or drawing. I could also have started sticking or pounding or gluing things. But I thought: keep it simple. Just begin with a pencil. Just start with a line. That was very liberating. And thus entirely new work came into existence.”

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

From the one-liners series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

She calls this new work her ‘one-liners’. Although this word is something out of linguistics, she does feel that it fits well here: it is after all a clear and straightforward image. Her one-liners are done on beautiful drawing paper and she also uses paper made from banana leaves. She gets the latter from the Matoekoe foundation in Lelydorp. The drawings are made with ink and a drawing pen. Although she certainly likes different colors as well, Tjong Joe Wai currently prefers working with black because she feels that the sobriety of it is most compelling to the work she makes now.

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant 'paper', by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant ‘paper’, by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant 'paper', by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant ‘paper’, by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant 'paper', by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant ‘paper’, by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant 'paper', by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant ‘paper’, by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant 'paper', by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

There are also larger ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant ‘paper’, by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

A small ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant 'paper' by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2015

A small ‘one-liners’ on paper made from the fibers of the banana plant. From the one-liners series on banana plant ‘paper’ by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2015

The one-liners are small, in postcard dimensions, but there are also larger ones, measuring up to A-3 in size. She started large and felt comfortable doing so. But afterwards she discovered that working small was actually very exciting and that she could be much more stylized in those. With the smaller one-liners especially, she uses a magnifying glass to avoid the risk of lines touching one another where they are not intended to.

Els Tjong Joe Wai loves working on paper. The one-liners may have been born out of a difficult period, but they give her much pleasure.

At her next exhibition – which is planned for March 7 &8 2015  –  she will show her one-liners and also several watercolors. It will be her second exhibition in  Suriname. The first one, named Zonder titel (without title), took place in December of 2011 and it was the exhibition at which she introduced herself as an artist in her own country.

 Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

 Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

 Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

 Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

 Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Before her ‘one-liners’ Els made several watercolors of figures that have maneuvered themselves in impossible positions. She calls those ‘spagaten’ (splits). From the splits series by Els Tjong Joe Wai / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Her book, Zonder title [Untitled], is still available at Book store Vaco (also on Facebook) and at Readytex Art Gallery (also on Facebook).

'Zonder Titel / Untitled', cover

‘Zonder Titel / Untitled’, cover

Els Tjong Joe Wai (Paramaribo, 1952) went to the Ruudt Wackers art academy (also on Facebook) in Amsterdam, 1998-2001. From 2001 to 2009 she lived in Aeropolis, Greece. In 2009 she moved back to Suriname as visual artist and opened Art Gallery Sukru Oso in 2011.

Els Tjong Joe Wai in front of a work that was on display in a previous exhibition,  Zonder titel  [Untitled] / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

Els Tjong Joe Wai in front of a work that was on display in a previous exhibition, Zonder titel [Untitled] / PHOTO Marieke Visser, 2014

TEXT Chandra van Binnendijk, 2014

Chandra van Binnendijk (Paramaribo, 1953) is editor and publicist. From 1977 until 1988 she was part of the news editors of various newspapers and radio stations, and was a correspondent for various Caribbean media. After ten years she said goodbye to active journalism and is since focusing mostly on culture, art and history. She has co-written several art publications amongst which  Twintig jaar beeldende kunst in Suriname 1975 – 1995 (Amsterdam, KIT Publishers, 1995) and she was author and compiler of the art catalog Zichtbaar (Paramaribo, 2005) about the art collection of De Surinaamsche Bank. Recent publications in which she was involved as co-author and co-compiler are Bouwstenen voor een betere wereld. 250 jaar vrijmetselarij in Suriname (Paramaribo, 2011) and TOR. A People’s Business (Paramaribo, 2012).

TRANSLATION Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, 2014

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